The Deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Council, Moti Yogev, said on Thursday that terrorists have been encouraged to try to carry out attacks against Israelis because of the deal to free Gilad Shalit.
Yogev spoke to Arutz Sheva one day after security officials revealed that the Shin Bet and the IDF broke up three terror cells operating in Hevron.
One of the cells, affiliated with Hamas’ military wing, was led by two 21-year-olds from Hevron, one of whom – Mahmoud Dwek – has been previously jailed for expressing a desire to serve as a suicide bomber in an attack against Israel.
The cell also planted a number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along the security fence surrounding the community of Kiryat Arba and was planning to kidnap one of the Jewish residents of Hevron. If the kidnapping failed, they planned to murder the target.
Israel and Hamas signed a deal in October which saw Shalit being released after more than five years in captivity in exchange for 1,026 terrorists.
Several of the terrorists who were freed in the deal have since been re-arrested after Israeli security forces gathered evidence that they have resumed terror activity. At least one terrorist sent a memory card to relatives with detailed instructions on how to kidnap more soldiers.
“The security situation has worsened in part because of the terrorists from the Shalit deal who are here on the ground, celebrating the fact that they are senior experienced terrorists,” Yogev charged. “Some of the terrorists who were freed came to Judea and Samaria, though I do not have the exact numbers or locations. Some were not allowed to come to Judea and Samaria but it is not difficult to start and lead by example. They employ others, be it to carry out kidnappings, shooting attacks, rock throwing and general disorder.”
He added, “The IDF and the GSS know that these are terrorists who were freed in the Shalit deal. I hope they know how to fight this phenomenon and are able to eradicate them and reinforce deterrence in order to give a sense of security.”
Yogev called on the residents of Judea and Samaria to continue on with their lives and let the army do its job. “The guidelines now are to proceed as normal. They’ve caught most of the terror cells, except one which I hope is caught soon. To the best of my knowledge the army is tailing this cell and I hope that the courts give them harsh sentences. That will make it easier for security forces to restore the level of quiet and security that has existed in recent years and which certainly reinforces the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.”